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NOVEMBER 11, 2001

Silverstone under attack from BBC Watchdog

BBC TELEVISION's prime time consumer affairs program Watchdog screened an investigation into ticket prices at the British GP next year and called in Octagon Motorsport Rob Bain to justify the hike. The tickets next year will cost $300 for an entry ticket, $150 for a grandstand seat and a further $68 to park on site rather than park miles away from the track and have to ride in on a coach. The prices have been made necessary as Silverstone needs to ensure the free flow of traffic into and out of Silverstone and that has meant that the crowd has been slashed to just 60,000.

The announcement has left race fans in Britain outraged. Watchdog found that at Imola a ticket costs just $55, while it is $70 at Magny-Cours or $90 in Austria.

The program's investigation also confirmed that the grandstands on Silverstone's start/finish straight were to be set aside for corporate hospitality packages.

"What we're trying to do this year is maintain a Formula 1 Grand Prix," said Bain "We're spending a lot of money on the roads and we've reduced capacity. The traffic problems are a thing of the past."

Asked if he would consider renegotiating his deal with Formula One Management so that more spectators could afford to attend the event, Bain was incredulous.

"That is why he so rich," Bain said of Bernie Ecclestone, the boss of F1.